Cosplay Your Heart Out!

We had a successful turnout at our first ever Cosplay program!

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The wonderful Jen F., the Artist Librarian presented on:

  • The definition of Cosplay
  • Her Cosplay progression
  • Cosplay planning (time, budget, accuracy)
  • Creation versus Purchasing
  • Props
  • Resources
  • Local conventions Cosplayers meet

I was enraptured and impressed by our presenter. Her love of Cosplay grew from her hobby of sewing! Our library is very grateful for having a Cosplay program possible this summer and based on the positive feedback received, I would definitely be open to hosting the program again. I highly recommend having Jen present on Cosplay. She reads the crowd easily, goes into detail, answers questions, and is knowledgeable in many aspects of this niche art.

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Learning Outcomes
I feel our patrons were able to be exposed to a different pop culture niche. Cosplay has been increasingly popular in the U.S. to the point of people becoming professional Cosplayers, creating and modeling their own creations for conventions and publishers. At several conventions I’ve attended, there are panels on Cosplay that normally you can only enter with a paid ticket however our library was able to offer this informative panel for free. Attendees learned feasible ways of planning their Cosplay with the understanding that anyone can dress up! From accurate-on-the-spot renditions to crossplay to genderbending cosplay, there’s something for everyone.

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I’m itching to cosplay again. *Looks at cosplay-less closet* In due time, in due time. Following Jen’s tip, gotta plan it first!

Ode to the Library Assistant

My path was never the librarian despite my love of libraries and literature. I never considered walking this path until college when realizing that becoming a teacher wasn’t in the cards for me. I count myself lucky for working in libraries and customer service jobs that, with the finishing of library school, positioned me to gain a full-time library position in circulation within my state’s library system.

Were the job duties simple and easy? No. Were the job duties challenging and engaging? Yes. This is my ode to the library assistant.

I first became a library assistant after graduating with my Master’s in Library and Information Science. It was a rough period, with people around me asking why I was in an entry-level position, why I don’t make enough money, why I deal with duties that do not require my degree. My go-to answer: I go in 100%. This is my challenge. Eventually I’ll move up when the time is right. I need to learn circulation first.

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Taking notes on EVERYTHING.

Let me tell you something, I have the utmost respect with circulation. They deal with the front-lines, the first phone calls, the irate and the charming first, they deal with everything I did not learn in library school. (I was fortunate to have a required class on communicating with others however there wasn’t a class strictly on Circulation.) These guys are badass, helpful, know-everythings that I wonder how the library would survive without them. I can’t survive in a library by myself without circulation. If patrons are the lifeblood of the library, circulation is the heart of it all. They ensure I do my job as a librarian well.

I would never trade my time in circulation for another job. I learned how to properly run a register in the library, how to talk to patrons better, how to make small talk and promote programs easily (I’m an introvert that is confused by small talk), how to assess books for mending, how to multitask and juggle phone calls with a patron in front of me while needing to find a book on shelf. It was my boot camp into the library world post-school, with a full-time job.

To all of you working at library assistants, I love you all for you are essential to the library machine. You do the dirty work, the grunt work, the work that needs to be done. You help make the jobs of techs, librarians, managers, and volunteers so much easier. If you move up due to experience, you’ll be better equipped to handle the position. It needs to be said: You. Are. Vital.

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Summer Reading 2018 – Calm Before the Storm

Summer Reading 2018 is here!

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Excited Haruhi Suzumiya via GIPHY

CAN YOU FEEL IT?

We got programs up the wazoo! This year we combined programs to be more family oriented. The following programs are being put together by our library:

  • Ani-Mazing Anime Programs: A continuation from before summer, bi-monthly anime showings with discussion. Three episodes shown and patrons can vote for the next episode.
  • Cosplay Your Heart Out: My good friend and awesome cosplayer will be showing cosplay techniques and thrifty shopping to create a cosplay based on your favorite pop culture character!
  • Darin Miyashiro and Co. Japanese Koto Performance: Local Koto musician Darin Miyashiro will be doing a Koto performance for patrons of all ages.
  • Every Body Rocks Family Talent Show: Families can sign up to sing or play musical instruments for an audience!
  • Family Craft Time: Family members (caregivers and teens/children) are able to sign up to do crafts together! The Children’s Librarian is in charge and taught me how to do the craft so to be in charge of a class out of three classes. I’m not a crafty person (my origami cranes are sad cranes) so this gives me hope.
  • Musical Movie Mondays: Every Monday at 3:30 pm, we’ll be showing a musical-themed movie. So far we have SingLa La LandPitch Perfect 3Moana, and Coco. All movies are up to PG-13.

Here’s to Summer Reading 2018!

Dealing with Burnout

Feeling fatigued? Want to stay in bed and recharge? See the bags under your eyes despite sleeping 8+ hours?

That could mean a lot of different things but what if it revolved around your work?

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I know that feel too via GIPHY

Tips to get yourself recharged and energized for work!

  • Do not bring work home. As a librarian, reading is part of the job, even if it means previewing a book in case patrons have questions. Sometimes you can feel overwhelmed when it’s the weekend and you’re waiting on confirmation for a program or anxious because you forgot to finish something before closing time. It’s okay. You’re not alone, I need to repeat it every day at closing. For reading, read something you want rather than reading something off your work list.
  • Log out of your email. It’s tempting but do not enable work email on your phone or your home computer. Nooooo. Nope. Nada. Keep that at work.
  • Stress-less hobby. Rather than saying “mindless”, do something that doesn’t cause you stress. For me it’s playing video games or doodling in my bullet journal. With video games, I need to monitor my stress levels and need to listen to myself when it’s time to quit a game.
  • Take a walk. Fresh air, greenery, just walking around outside is a nice change of pace after being cooped up in the office.
  • Treat. Your. Self. Finished a program you’ve been planning for 3 months? Treat yourself. Successfully completed a reference transaction? Pat yourself on the back and treat yourself. Got a negative reaction from a situation you could not control? Learn and treat yourself.
  • Vacation or Sick Day. Take a mental health day or plan a few months in advanced a couple days to refresh yourself. You need to recharge yourself but do not feel bad that your coworkers are picking up your slack. They’d want you at 100% rather than 25% and unable to provide teamwork. I feel bad calling in sick but you gotta do what you gotta do.

Kawaii Kon – A Volunteer Saga

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Kawaii Kon has come and gone. An excited event filled with numerous events and guests from all over the world. To a happy Kon!

This year was my second year volunteering for our public library system booth located inside Kawaii Kon’s Artist Alley. I must say, it was a fun and interactive experience, learning new things as time goes on. My partner in crime being Hillary C., my co-presenter from our 2017 Hawaii Library Association panel on graphic novels.

I was only able to stay for 1 hour due to a last-minute schedule change with my volunteering time for Kawaii Kon but what an hour! We interacted with 80 people in 1 hour! Considering how quiet Sundays usually are for a convention and we came in after the lunch rush, I’d say that’s pretty awesome.

How it worked: Attendees who show their library card can get a choice of a manga or book! This year there were puzzle books and superhero graphic novels aside from manga and literature. No library card? No problem! Get a free pencil or sticker! Grab a library card application to fill out and turn in to your nearest library to have a card and account set up.

Why volunteer: Get the library out into the community! Libraries are just filled with classical literature. There are still people surprised and happy to see the public library booth at the convention, it makes us happy to be noticed.

Is cosplay mandatory at the booth? Not at all, go with yourcomfort zone. Cosplay? Always a good idea! Also an excuse to wear cute costumes! No cosplay? No problem! If anyone asks, say you’re displaying as an otaku librarian. I can say that as my official “cosplay” for 2 years.

I hope to continue my volunteer saga so we’ll see about next year! 😄